Disclaimer: None of it is mine.

A/N: And this one will end, too. Originally it was even darker, but I decided to at least try to bring some humour into it... I'm pretty pleased with the ending, though.

Best Friends


"Calm down, James," Peter tried to calm his distressed friend. "Just calm down. Everything will be all right."

"No, it won't," the bespectacled boy said, weeping comfortlessly. "I'm a murderer, Peter. A bloody killer, don't you understand? I'm no better than those Death Eater bastards!"

"Death Eaters?" echoed a quiet voice behind them. As they turned to look, they saw Severus Snape standing in the doorway, seemingly just as calm and unaffected as always. Had he not heard the news?

"That's none of your business," snapped James through his tears. "What are you doing here, anyway? This is the Gryffindor Tower, if you didn't notice! Or are your tiny Slytherin brains incapable of handling such knowledge?"

"Lay it off, Potter," Snape said smoothly, but under his so well-controlled voice they could hear a tinge of tiredness. "I'm not here to fight. Instead, I have to get some things." Without offering any further explanation, he walked to Lupin's trunk. James and Peter didn't try to stop him, assuming that he had a rightful reason to be on his friend's trunk -- not that they'd cared much if he'd stolen something of Lupin's, anyway.

After finding whatever it was that he was looking for, Snape closed Lupin's trunk and moved to Blacks. Some minutes later he'd found something from there as well, putting that object into his pocket, and closed the trunk. Just as he was about to leave, however, James stopped him.

"Is -- is Lupin --" He swallowed, trying to form a sensible sentence, but found himself unable to. Instead, he just shook his head in desperation, hoping that Snape got his message anyway.

Thankfully, he did. "Dead? Not yet," the Slytherin replied gravely. "However, his head is severely injured, and he might die. All that's keeping him alive now is magic." With a slight snort, he added, "Sometimes you truly amaze me, Potter. Some people waste their whole lives trying to kill a werewolf, and now you've probably killed one on accident."

"I didn't mean to," whispered the bespectacled boy. "I honestly didn't mean to..."

"What did you get from their trunks, anyway?" asked Peter, desperate to stop James from wallowing further into his self-loathing. "It's not every day you see a Slytherin just marching in here. Never, to be exact."

"I was fetching comfort," replied Snape cryptically. "Comfort and consolation." Without a single word of explanation, he then left, leaving the two Gryffindors behind.

When Severus arrived to the Infirmary, he found Sirius sitting on one of the beds. "Has anything happened, Padfoot?" he asked quietly, nodding towards the corner where their friend lay, separated from the rest of the Infirmary with curtains.

"Nothing," replied Sirius just as quietly. "No changes, to better or worse."

"No news is good news," stated Severus dryly. "Was this what you wanted?" he asked, drawing something from his pocket and giving it to the other boy.

Sirius watched the thing in his hand for a while. It was a necklace -- or, more accurately, a dogtag on a thin chain. He had got it from Remus on his sixteenth birthday almost a year before -- his birthday was in February -- and liked it a lot. On the front, the tag read, "Sirius Black, AKA Padfoot," and on the back, "Marauders Forever." Tightening his fist around the necklace as if to keep it as near to himself as humanly possible, trying to get at least some kind of contact to his werewolf friend, he then glanced at the uninjured one of his friends.

Severus had taken out the other two things in his pockets. There were now two stuffed toy wolves in his hands, one golden, the other dark grey. Severus had got his Moony toy from Remus at Christmas on their fifth year, and Remus had received his very own little Howler that same day, too. Now the grey one was lying forgotten in Severus's lap, as if waiting for its rightful owner, while the golden one was in the Slytherin's hands, Severus's fingers slowly caressing its soft fur. There was an expression of gentleness and longing Sirius had rarely seen on his friend's usually so controlled face. And, suddenly, the pieces just slipped together.

"You're together, aren't you?" he asked quietly. "You and Remus."

At first, Severus looked startled. Then he smirked. "We're always together, didn't you know that?" he asked, attempting to get a playful tone into his voice. "Marauders forever, remember?"

"I didn't mean that, and you know it," Sirius replied levelly. "Are you together, like, for romantic purposes?"

"You mean, are we a gay couple?" snorted the Slytherin. Then he sighed, "Yes, we are. We've been together for three months now. I'm sorry we didn't tell you, but we didn't want you to hate us. Sure, we've talked about things like that a lot, but it was just talking -- we couldn't know for sure how you would react to our news."

"Come on, Howler, you know me better than that," the Grim Animagus replied with a tired smile. "Of course I wouldn't hate you. I never could. If you came to me and announced that you're both going to marry Dumbledore, I would just ask to be your best man."

Severus shuddered. "Now that is an image I certainly didn't need," he muttered.

Against all odds, Remus truly got better soon. Whether it was because of Madam Pomfrey's expertise, his own unbelievable healing abilities, or Sirius and Severus's constant company and support, nobody could tell for sure.

However, what was for sure was that James Potter was in for a nasty punishment. A big, nasty punishment.

"I've decided to give you two months of detention for endangering a fellow student's life, James," Dumbledore said sternly, looking hardly at the squirming form in front of him. "However, as Remus was the one you injured and almost killed, he will be allowed to decide some of your punishment, too." With these words, he nodded towards the door of the room. "Come in!" he bellowed.

And they did. Sirius and Severus walked in side by side, holding Remus in a sitting position on their arms between them. The werewolf was pale and looked weak as he sat on his improvised "throne," but at least he was alive.

"Master Remus has come to lay sentences on the poor and weak inhabitants of the Earth," bellowed Sirius dramatically. "Crawl and shiver in front of his holy person, for he sees all your faults and wrongdoings!"

"He's righteous and holy," continued Severus, grave serious. "His judgement is right. Do not doubt his words, for he is not merciful to those who stand against him!"

"Amen," muttered Remus, seemingly amused about his friends' words. "Headmaster, what limits are you giving to the punishment I should assign to Potter?" he asked, his eyes twinkling and bringing some light to his tired face.

"School rules and common sense," replied Dumbledore, smiling slightly at their antics. "Rest assured that I will let you know if I don't approve."

"Very well." Remus nodded and turned towards Potter. He seemed to be just about to speak when Sirius suddenly spoke up.

"Fear, oh, you unworthy scum!" he shouted enthusiastically. "Master Remus is going to slay you and make you and your descendants in seven generations crawl in misery until you regret your evil deeds!"

"Oh, lay it off, Padfoot," sighed the werewolf. "So, Potter, we have decided on something."

"And true and mighty is his word!" piped Severus up. "Listen to him, and you shall know!"

"Shut it, Howler," muttered Remus. "So, Potter, we'll be satisfied if you publicly admit that we're better pranksters, wizards, students, and people overall than your gang."

"And if you stop pulling pranks on us and our supporters," added Severus. "It's about the time this stupid fight ends -- to our well-deserved victory, of course."

"And if you admit to Filch that it was you who nicked his collection of Playwizards, and not us," said Sirius then. "It's been a year already, why is he still bothering us with something we didn't even do for once?"

"But I didn't do that!" protested Potter. "I'm not enough of a fool to touch on Filch's precious porn, he'd kill me alive!"

"Kill you alive?" echoed Severus amusedly. "How would he kill you otherwise, may I ask?"

"You know what I mean," replied the bespectacled Gryffindor annoyedly. "But the point is, I didn't steal those Playwizards! So it must have been you!"

"Did not!" argued Remus. "None of us would have touched those!"

"Ah, sorry, I forgot," murmured Potter sarcastically. "You're all queers, of course you wouldn't care about Playwizards."

"That we are, and proud of it," Severus said calmly. "Well, Padfoot here isn't, but I and Moony most certainly are," he then added, kissing his boyfriend on the cheek.

"Well, actually, Howler..." started Sirius amusedly. "In fact, I am gay. I even have a boyfriend, too."

"What?" exclaimed Potter. "I don't wonder about those two freaks, they are made for each other after all, but who ever would have anything to do with you?"

"Well, you know him rather well," Sirius said, waggling his eyebrows. "We all sleep in the same dormitory, after all."

"E tu, mi Peter," groaned the bespectacled boy. "Honestly, who can I trust anymore? My best friend has gone to the enemy's side -- literally!"

"Sorry, James," said Peter, his head appearing to the doorway. "I honestly didn't mean to, but he was really persistent! And I'm not on their side, I'm just on his," he added then.

"There's no difference," muttered Potter. Then he sighed. "Okay, let's get this over with," he muttered. "I will tell everyone that you won, if that gets you off my neck. But I'm not telling Filch that I took those pron. magazines, because I did not," he then added heatedly.

"Oh, don't worry about those, my boys," Dumbledore said cheerfully. "I'll return them immediately. Honestly, Argus should have just told me that he wanted them back..."

At this, the boys all turned slightly green and hurried out of the room.


And no, there's no more.